Tweakment Finder TWEAKMENT




Lip Serum

Written by: Becki Murray

Last Updated: 27 February 2024

We all tend to forget our lips when it comes to skincare, then worry when they get chapped and dry, and smother them with lip balm to try to make them better. Once they’re okay, we forget about them again for the time being. But your lips will benefit from care and treatment with products that do more than simply cover them with a protective barrier.

lip serum

What is lip serum?

Lip serum is a cosmetic treatment specifically designed to hydrate your lips, nourish them, and rejuvenate them. A lip serum penetrates deeper into your lips than a lip balm or lip gloss does, so it can deliver nourishing ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid and peptides, to where they can do your lips the most good. 

thin lips

What ingredients are in lip serums?

Lip serums are packed with hyaluronic acid, which can literally plump the lips by helping them hold onto moisture. They will also contain ingredients such as peptides for boosting the strength of the lip skin by encouraging the growth of new collagen, and ceramides to help seal the hydrating elements of the serum into the lip so that they don’t instantly escape.

What are the best lip-plumping products available?

Here are three great lip-conditioning serums to try:

  • Teoxane (3D Lip) Serum. This lip-saver contains the same high-grade hyaluronic acid as you find in the injectable dermal fillers made by its parent brand, to help the lips hold more moisture and plump them up a little. Non-sticky and good under lipstick, too.
  • Medik8 Mutiny Lip Balm. More of a gel than a balm, this somehow melts into the lips to hydrate them with hyaluronic acid and squalane, and makes lips feel amazing. Why is it called Mutiny? Because the company wants to take a stand against the sort of petroleum-based lip balms that simply cover over the lips to stop moisture getting out, without actually improving the skin barrier on the lips or hydrating their lower layers.
  • Albus and Flora Multi-Active Balm UVA/UVB SPF30. Albus & Flora’s balms are like cosmeceuticals for your lips. They come in a range of sheer tints and they all have SPF30. Lips are vulnerable to UV, just like the rest of the face, and even those of us who wear sunscreen regularly don’t always put it on our lips, so this is an easy way to do it – these balms melt right into your lips and feel smooth and light to wear.

Do I need a lip serum? Can’t I just use lip balm?

You likely do need a lip serum, because our lips get worked hard. Quite apart from all the movement they go through when we’re talking and smiling, eating and drinking, we are always rubbing our lips together, licking them, and wetting them with all the things we’re drinking, many of which are hot beverages.

All of this means the surface skin on the lip is constantly being eroded; and as a result, it is easy for the lip skin to become dry. Your lips contain few oil glands, so they don’t just recondition themselves automatically like, say, your nose (which is well supplied with oil glands) does. So using a lip serum to restore your lips makes a lot of sense.

You can use lip balm, but it’s not a great solution. Most lip balms are based on waxes and emollients, ingredients that smooth over the surface of the lip and stop moisture from within the skin tissues escaping into the air. That works, but it doesn’t do anything to improve the health or function of the lip tissues. Worse, it creates a dependency on the balm. Worse still, many lip balms contain ingredients which irritate the lips. For example, peppermint oil, menthol, and camphor give lip products a ‘fresh’ feel but also make your lips sting a bit. That might plump up the lips fractionally, but irritated swelling really isn’t good for the lip tissue.

How does hyaluronic acid benefit lip health?

Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, drawing moisture from the air into your skin. This helps your lips stay hydrated, making them plumper and smoother and protecting the barrier function of their skin. The extra hydration also makes your lips look better.

What role do peptides play in lip care?

Peptides can help rejuvenate your skin by stimulating the production of collagen, the protein that forms the scaffolding of your skin; by speeding up the processes of lip repair and regeneration; by improving the texture and hydration of your lips; and by strengthening the barrier function of the lip skin.

Can ceramides improve the lip skin barrier?

Yes, ceramides — lipid (fat) molecules — can strengthen the skin barrier of the lips, and many lip-care products include ceramides. Ceramides help to lock moisture into your lips, preventing them from getting dry and chapped. Ceramides also help protect your delicate lip skin against damage from the cold, from dry air, and from pollutants.

How can I hydrate my lips and maintain lip moisture throughout the day?

Here are six easy steps you can take to hydrate your lips and maintain lip moisture:

  • Stay hydrated and eat a healthy diet. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, and eat healthily to give your body the vitamins and nutrients it and your lips need.
  • Use a lip balm or serum that includes sun protection, and reapply it as needed throughout the day. 
  • Avoid licking your lips if possible, because saliva makes them dry out more quickly.
  • Exfoliate your lips gently once or twice a week. You can use a lip scrub, but a soft toothbrush works pretty well too.
  • Use a thicker lip cream or balm at night for extra hydration.
  • Breathe through your nose rather than your mouth to avoid drying out your lips.

Are there natural alternatives for lip-care serums?

Yes, there are various natural alternatives that you can use on your lips instead of getting a lip serum or lip cream. Here are five examples:

  • Coconut oil. Apply this oil to your lips to moisten and protect them.
  • Honey and beeswax. Apply honey to your lips to help them retain moisture and to heal chapped lips. Apply beeswax to your lips to seal in moisture.
  • Aloe vera. Apply aloe vera to your lips to hydrate them and to improve dry or cracked lips.
  • Shea butter. Apply shea butter to moisturise and nourish your lips.
  • Cucumber slices. Place cucumber slices on your lips to hydrate and soothe them. Stay still.

How do collagen-boosting products affect lips?

Collagen-boosting lip products help provide the collagen your lip skin needs to keep your lips plump. Having extra collagen can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in and around your lips, can make your lips more supple and elastic, and can allow your lips to retain moisture and stay hydrated.

What anti-ageing and lip-rejuvenation tweakments are there?

Here are four tweakments for reducing the signs of ageing and rejuvenating lips:

  • Hyaluronic acid fillers. Injecting fillers can boost the volume of your lips and reduce the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles around your mouth.
  • Laser or light therapy. Treatment using a laser, such as a fractional CO2 laser, or intense pulsed light (IPL), can improve the texture of your lips and reduce the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Chemical peels. Light peels can exfoliate your lips and reveal fresher skin.
  • Microneedling. Microneedling (also called ‘medical needling’) creates minute punctures in your skin to stimulate collagen production that will make the skin thicker and smoother.


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